My autism is just like a cage. I can look out and see the free people, but I stay stuck inside. I think the lion that paces in its cage gets used to its routine and knows the bars don’t open, but the lion doesn’t realize that other lions roam freely over vast savannahs, and that food doesn’t magically appear from nowhere.
It is different for me because my cage is like an invisible barrier. Bars, not of steel, but of impulsive behavior, stims, and limited speech have the same result though. I watch the people move around me and I am stuck behind my barriers.
I watched my sister celebrate her birthday with her best friends this weekend. I couldn’t joke, talk, or join in. I told myself not to get lost in the jealousy because I envied her social pleasures – not that I listened to my own advice. In that way I am unlike the lion because I know what I can’t do yet. People overlook me because I am odd, or because I don’t speak, but I still watch, wishing one day to be liberated from my cage that traps me inside my own body.